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Landscape architect designs toolkit to make cities inclusive of adults with autism
Date:5/1/2014

planning and design changes can help connect everything in a way that works and is inclusive of a particular group. We want to allow people to function fully in an inclusive environment."

For the project, Decker conducted a literature review and interviewed adults including an adult living with blindness, an adult living with autism and an adult living with Asperger's syndrome to better understand their needs in an urban environment. The adults stressed the urban needs for public transportation, training services and access to health support.

Decker used Nashville, Tennessee, as a test city for the urban toolkit. Nashville uses form-based zoning code, which focuses on buildings' physical form instead of only land use. The city also offers residential services, a strong job market and good transportation as well as the Vanderbilt-Kennedy Center, which offers adult services and vocational services, Decker said.

Although she looked at Nashville, many of Decker's suggestions can apply to cities across the country. Throughout her research, she saw opportunities with vacant lots or underused areas. For example, if a vacant lot was adjacent to a gym, Decker has suggested redeveloping the lot to address physical health needs of adults with autism.

Decker also has developed 3-D models of areas throughout the city. Her designs involve more affordable housing locations that connect with a proposed corridor of autism services. She has provided links to healthy food areas and has recommended placing vocational training facilities near civic or institutional programs. She proposes preserving and strengthening green space in downtown Nashville to offer areas for sensory relief from urban conditions.

Decker also has addressed employment for adults with autism and has marked job opportunities including craftworkers, service, professional, administrative work throughout the city.

"My project views cities from a larger perspect
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Contact: Katie Kingery-Page
kkp@k-state.edu
785-532-5371
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3

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